The National Statistics Office’s key indicators on the labour market has revealed that the gender gap in the Maltese market is till wide open, with females standing at well below the average of the activity and unemployment rate.
In the four years of statistics recording the indicators of the labour market between 2000 and 2003, female activity and unemployment rate stood at an average of 35.8% and 33.25% respectively. The activity rate is defined as the number of persons in the labour force, aged between 15 and 64 years, as a percentage of the working population in the same age bracket. For the past four years, the activity rate stood at an average of 58.3 per cent. In terms of employment, an average of 54 out of every 100 persons between 15 and 64 years were employed.
Clear indications show that female participation in the labour market are strong and well in par with the national average until the age of 24, where females aged between 15 and 24 occupy an employment rate of 48.5%. However, the rate of employment dips down to 33.4% for women aged between 25 and 54, and then down to 11 per cent for those aged 55 to 64.
The employment gender gap is defined as the difference in employment rates between women and men in percentage points. In the past four years, the employment gender gap for the 15-24 age group was relatively low, however the gender gap for the 25 to 54 age group has been consistently high, considering the average employment gender gap was 54.8%.
Unemployment also remains high mostly with females, at an average of 7.4% compared with males at 6.75%, and higher than the average unemployment rate of 6.9% for the four years between 2000 and 2003. Youth unemployment remains especially high at a national average of 8.3%, but male youths encounter more unemployment than females.
In terms of unemployment, an average of seven out of every 100 persons in the labour force were unemployed. The unemployment gender gap reveals that in the last three years, the female unemployment rate exceeded that of males.
Males in employment having achieved upper secondary education, has also exceeded the number of females in employment by an average of 22.4%. The employment gender gap in tertiary education averaged 10.9 per cent%.
Female participation enjoys a satisfactory level in the services sector, but the gender gap in full-time equivalents, remains high at an average of 43.3%. The employment rate in full-time equivalents is defined as the total hours worked divided by the average annual number of hours worked in full-time jobs, calculated as a proportion of the total population in the 15-64 age bracket. Over the past four years, the average employment rate in full-time equivalents stood at 52.1 per cent, which is over two cent lower than the average general employment rate. Women also make up the majority of part-time employment.
The gender pay gap has resulted to be an average of 10.9% between males and females, defined as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of men and women as a percentage of male average gross hourly earnings for paid employees who work 15 hours and over.
As regards jobs, there has been great gender imbalance in the sector of craft and related trades workers, namely manufacturing (8.9%) and construction (7.1%). By contrast, the percentage of females employed in the education sector exceeded the male by –1.3% in the same period. The least form of gender imbalance occurs amongst professionals and skilled agricultural and fishery workers, whilst females employed in education, private households, and financial inter-mediation outstripped men.